Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Geography, Environment and Planning

Major Professor

Ambe Njoh, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Fenda Akiwumi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Collins, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kamal Alsharif, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Hesborn Wao, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Daly, Ph.D.


urban-based water schemes, informal settlements, beneficiary satisfaction, performance factors


Few studies have attempted to determine the tenability of Community Participation (CP) theory is explicating Water Production and Management dynamics in Urban Informal Settlements. Consequently, several gaps exist in knowledge of the value of this important theory for efforts to improve water service delivery in such settlements. The main purpose of this study is to contribute to efforts addressed to filling these gaps. Four water schemes established by Sustainable Aid in Africa International in partnership with different communities in the informal neighborhoods of Kisumu Kenya are used as empirical referent. The study is guided by the following three Research Questions; 1) what is the relationship between community participation and beneficiary satisfaction with the work of the water management committees in the four schemes? 2) what are the contributions (positive or negative) of community participation on the production of clean potable water supply in the informal settlements? 3) what are the participation-related factors affecting the performance of the schemes?

Uncovering answers to these questions entailed the use of a mixed methods approach. The approach involved the application of both quantitative and qualitative techniques. The former was employed mainly to answer the first two Research Questions and latter to deal with Research Question Three. The quantitative component of data collection involved administering a survey questionnaire through a simple random sampling technique. Logistic Regression and Chi-square Tests were employed to analyze the quantitative data. In the qualitative phase, Focus Group Discussions, Observation, Transect Walks and Photographic evidence was used to collect data analyzed through Constant Comparison Analytic technique.

For Research Question One, the logistic regression results indicate that five participatory variables are significantly associated with beneficiary satisfaction with the work of the water management committees. These are provision of paid or unpaid labor to the water schemes, household willingness to intervene against pipe vandalism, meeting attendance, willingness to contribute money or time to the community water scheme and whether a household has ever made a complaint about water supply/quality issues. For Research Question Two, the chi-square test shows that households who use community managed water schemes and attend water and sanitation meetings tend to practice better water handing hygiene in the settlements. For Research Question Three, the following factors are identified to be either aiding and/or impeding the success of the schemes; networking and collaboration, continuous community engagement/participation, the formation of water consumer groups, coordination and organizational management, extent of institutional formalization, provision of dividends to the community, clannism, population increase, and poverty and community fatigue.

This dissertation sheds new light on the role played by CP in managing vital resources such as water in urban informal settlements/neighborhoods. An important policy contribution is that CP can be used as a viable strategy in the establishment of effective water schemes in urban informal settlements. Furthermore, it can act as an antidote with regards to water quality improvements in urban informal settlements/neighborhoods.